World Economic Forum’s Klaus Schwab Stepping Down as Executive Chairman

World Economic Forum’s Klaus Schwab Stepping Down as Executive Chairman
World Economic Forum founder Klaus Schwab delivers a speech during the "Crystal Award" ceremony at the World Economic Forum (WEF) annual meeting in Davos, Switzerland, on Jan. 16, 2023. (Fabrice Coffrini/AFP via Getty Images)

Klaus Schwab, the founder and executive chairman of the World Economic Forum (WEF), will be stepping down from his leadership role, the transnational group confirmed in a statement.

Citing an internal email from Mr. Schwab to WEF staff on Tuesday, Semafor first reported the news that he would be stepping away from his role as the face of the organization.

Subsequently, in a statement on its website, the WEF confirmed that Mr. Schwab would be transitioning from executive chairman to chairman of the board of trustees by January 2025 as part of the global institution’s “planned governance evolution” away from a founder-managed organization.

“Since 2015, the World Economic Forum has been transforming from a convening platform to the leading global institution for public-private cooperation,” WEF said in the statement. “As part of that transformation, the organization has also been undergoing a planned governance evolution from a founder-managed organization to one where a President and Managing Board assume full executive responsibility.”

Currently, the WEF managing board is chaired by the group’s president, Borge Brende, who reports to the board of trustees. The group did not reveal who would replace Mr. Schwab as the face of the organization.

The global organization added that the board of trustees that Mr. Schwab will soon head will be organized around four strategic committees “to further reinforce the impact of our work.”

“These shifts underscore our institutional continuity in providing an independent and impartial platform to address the complex challenges of an interconnected world,” the group added in the statement.

The group describes members of the WEF board of trustees that Mr. Schwab will lead as “exceptional” individuals who serve as “guardians of its mission and values” and who oversee the group’s work in “promoting true global citizenship.” Some of the members include Larry Fink, chairman and CEO of BlackRock, and former U.S. Vice President Al Gore.

In recent years, talk of the potential departure of Mr. Schwab, who is 86 years old, has been the subject of much speculation and rumor, with Tuesday’s announcement being the first confirmation that he’s taking a less prominent role at the organization.

Mr. Schwab, a controversial figure often associated with the concept of “the Great Reset,” founded the WEF in 1971.

Earlier this year, a handful of House Republicans proposed a bill that would prohibit American tax dollars from funding the WEF, while criticizing the organization and its objectives as misguided, elitist, and “anti-American.”

“The Defund Davos Act would ensure that U.S. tax dollars are not funding the World Economic Forum and their reset on our way of life,” Rep. Tom Tiffany (R-Wis.) said in a statement in January, when the bill was first proposed.

Kevin Roberts, president of The Heritage Foundation, a conservative think tank, said in a post on X that the WEF’s announcement that Mr. Schwab is departing from his role at the helm of the organization suggests it’s on the wane.

“Klaus Schwab’s retirement serves as a clear signal that the era of Davos-style global elitism is on notice,” Mr. Roberts said.

The Great Reset

The “reset” referred to in Mr. Tiffany’s statement announcing the Defund Davos Act was an apparent reference to a set of ideas advanced by Mr. Schwab in a book he co-authored called “The Great Reset,” which he summarized in an op-ed as a globally coordinated effort to “revamp all aspects of our societies and economies” in which every country, including the United States, “must participate.”

Mr. Schwab described the Great Reset agenda as having three main parts: one is to “steer the market toward fairer outcomes,” including by withdrawing support for conventional fuels and possibly imposing wealth taxes.

The second part of the agenda, per Mr. Schwab, is for measures to ensure that investment is channeled to the achievement of “shared goals, such as equality and sustainability,” including in “green” infrastructure, while creating a carrot-and-stick system of incentives to force industries to meet environmental, social, and governance (ESG) metrics.

The third part of the Great Reset agenda would be to “harness the innovations of the Fourth Industrial Revolution,” such as artificial intelligence, to “support the public good” and address health and social challenges by, for instance, creating mechanisms for tracing infections or tracking vaccination status.

Republican objections to U.S. funding of the WEF and supporting what they describe as its globalist agenda rest in part on the idea that, as part of its Great Reset strategy, the group advocates for a top-down approach to managing various threats by rejigging capitalism to redistribute its benefits in certain ways.

Another vector of criticism involves the claim that the WEF represents a bid by unelected officials from international institutions to undermine national sovereignty by centralizing decision-making at the expense of individual freedoms and local communities. Other concerns include the notion that the solutions proposed by the WEF involve a high degree of economic interventionism by governments and international organizations, and social engineering by elites who critics say want to foist progressive values and beliefs on traditional-minded populations.

The Heritage Foundation president attended the latest WEF meeting in Davos, Switzerland, in January, and took part in a panel discussion. A moderator asked him to comment on the implications of a possible second Trump presidency, suggesting that the idea of a liberal democracy would be “swept under the table” if the 45th president wins in November, while claiming that the WEF is a staunch defender of this principle.

Mr. Roberts replied that it’s a “laughable” notion that the Davos elites stand for protecting liberal democracy.

“But the thing that I want to drive home here, the very reason that I’m here at Davos, is to explain to many people in this room and who are watching, with all due respect, nothing personal, but that you’re part of the problem,” he said at the time.

“Political elites tell the average people on three or four or five issues that the reality is X when in fact reality is Y. Take immigration: elites tell us that open borders and even illegal immigration are okay. The average person tells us in the United States that both rob them of the American way of life. They’re right. President Trump will take that on, on behalf of the average American,” he said.

He also took aim at the notion that climate change represents an existential crisis, as alleged by WEF.

“I guess the favorite at the World Economic Forum, is climate change,” Mr. Roberts said. “Elites tell us that we have this existential crisis with so-called climate change. So much so that climate alarmism is probably the greatest cause for mental health crisis in the world. The solutions, the average person knows, are far worse and more harmful, and cost more human lives—especially in Europe during the time that you need heating—than the problems themselves.”

Mr. Roberts also objected to what he said was the Davos elites giving the Chinese Communist Party a platform and said that he believed a Trump presidency would oppose this.

“Ultimately, I think President Trump, if in fact he wins a second term, is going to be inspired by the wise words of [Argentinian President] Javier Milei, who said that he was in power ‘not to guide sheep, but to awaken lions,'” Mr. Roberts said.

“That’s what the average American and the average free person on planet Earth wants out of leaders.”

From The Epoch Times

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